Children find skeletal remains in Sumter woods

Autopsy could show link to missing persons case


An autopsy to identify skeletal remains discovered in a wooded area off a dirt road near Dillon Park and Crystal Lakes Golf Course on Sunday could turn out to be related to a local missing persons case.

Sumter Police Department officers were notified of the remains about 6:30 p.m. after they were discovered by children who were playing in the wooded area off Gaines Road, said Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the department.

It does not appear that the remains were buried, she said.

“We don’t have any idea of the race, gender or approximate age,” Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said Monday afternoon.

For the body to have become skeletal remains, it could have been exposed to the elements and animals for at least a couple of months, he said.

He said the coroner’s office will have a better idea of what happened after the autopsy.

Baker said the coroner’s office is also working with the police department and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigators, who are going through missing person cases to try to find a possible match.

Three missing person cases reported last year in the city and county, combined, are still unresolved.